Monthly Archives: March 2016

*make a sandwich*
*sit down to eat it*
*see Koki staring at me*
*rip off small piece*
*see Koki still staring at me*
*give her the rest*

More on the Technology Front

This post will be 100% on technology. It may not be of interest to you, but I have found that some technology has been absolutely necessary living in Panama and therefore, I keep writing about it.

Internet

Connecting to the Internet is an absolute necessity for me. I could not exist here without it. I am happy to say that the Internet has improved a tremendous amount, since I moved here. A lot has been because I live in David, but a fair amount has been because of upgrades by the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Panama as a whole.

I routinely have 10 Mbps download speed. While this is minuscule compared to what is normal in the US, if is fine for me and allows multiple rooms to simultaneously be accessing the Internet at the same time. When Lilliam’s family comes to visit, I may have as many as 8 people connected at one time.

Most of my news and entertainment come from the Internet, which will lead me to my next point about KODI.

KODI Continue reading More on the Technology Front

Lilliam: What are you thinking about?
Me: *pauses daydream about zombie ninjas fighting cyborg Nazis from the future* — You of course!.

Home Invasion North of Concepcion

I just received the following email

Just wanted to let everyone know about a home invasion that happened three weeks ago, Wednesday at a cattle farm in the Sortova area North of Concepcion. The victims were Panamanian locals, not expats.

The home invasion happened around 1:30-2:00am. The five male intruders entered through a window. None of the windows on the house have security bars, which made it easy for them to enter. The family never new anyone was in their house until the intruders got them out of bed. All the intruders wore masks and gloves, and were armed with guns. The family was tied up with their eyes covered. The intruders ate the families food, took $200.00 and a cell phone. One of the intruders told the family that they were lost, and that is how that happened onto their home. At this point, all five of the intruders put the family into the family pick-up. All seven adults and two small children road in the cab with one of the intruders driving. The guy was driving like a bat out of hell and hit a cow in the road, but not bad enough to disable the vehicle. At this point, the mother took off her mask and sad what happened. She was told they hit a cow and to put her mask back on, but one of the other intruders told her she didn’t have to. Apparently the intruders were being friendly; they even went as far as telling the family they should have had bars on their windows and a mean dog to deter criminals. While they were driving down the highway towards David, a PNP vehicle passed them. They finally stopped some where on the South-side of David, and the gang got out of the truck. Because the pick-up was almost out of fuel, one of the intruders gave $40.00 back to the Father, out of the $200.00 they had take, to pay for gas so the family could get back home. Then the family was told not to say anything to the police, or they knew where they lived.

The family did not go to the police. Not so much, as for fear of their lives, but because they don’t believe the police would do anything. Many locals have been robbed. Many times more than Expats, but don’t report it.

Two things ironic about this incident are that this family had been told repeatedly that they needed to put bars on their windows by multiple family members. In addition, yesterday the father came home and caught a burglar trying to steal their television. After all they had gone through, they still hadn’t put bars on the windows. It’s now a priority.

My advise; increase physical security measures on your property and start a Neighborhood Watch program where you live.

There is no simple household repair that I can’t turn into a visit to the ER.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Europe Travel Alert

Following is the latest ASC Message.

Security Message to U.S. Citizens-Europe Travel Alert

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the March 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL. Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation. This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.

U.S. citizens should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.
  •  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  •  Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

European governments continue to guard against terrorist attacks and conduct raids to disrupt plots. We work closely with our allies and will continue to share information with our European partners that will help identify and counter terrorist threats.

For further information:

  • See the Department of State’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  •  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

You really can’t judge a person based on a single restraining order

Just Another Day in Panama

After I left the bank this morning, I went to McDonalds to get chicken to take home. There was a huge line in the drive through and I decided it would be quicker to go inside and order.

I ordered a 3 piece chicken dinner to go. It was good that I went inside as I watched as the orders were made. I watched as one of the individuals was putting chicken in the boxes. I only saw him put in two pieces. That box came to me. I thought maybe I hadn’t paid attention.

It was put in the bag and I was told it was a three piece order. I said it is 3 pieces and was told yes. I went to a table and opened the box —— only two pieces.

I went back and told the fellow that had just told me it contained 3 pieces, that it was short one. he looked and went and put in another piece. Had I gone through the drive through, I would have gotten home without my complete order. Most Panamanians check all drive through orders before leaving.

It was a reminder to me. Yes, I know this can happen in the U.S. too, but I have found through experience that it is always necessary to check all orders before you leave the purchase are in Panama.

The I got home and turned on the TV to watch the news about the Belgium bombing. I had only taken a couple bites and the power went off. That was 60 minutes ago. My security camera UPS is still going off in the background as I wait for power to return. I don’t know if this is a planed stage that they had announced and I missed or the strong winds have blown down some critical lines.

Luckily, I still have Internet on my phone and can call for help if I were to need it. This and my previous post are using my cell phone as a hotspot.

UPDATE: The power just came back. It was out 2 1/2 hours. Long enough to get me well into a new book.

The Eagle Has landed

After 22 days without funds, Robert finally has his Banistmo Bank Card. It will be another 48 hours before I will know if the card works because it takes that long for the bank computer systems to to activate the card from the time the card is delivered and it is registered as delivered by the bank attendant.

I can’t speak highly enough about the attendant that helped me through Robert’s problem. She was the same lady that had helped the previous time to get a new card issued and remembered Robert in his wheelchair. Had it not been for her, I think it might have taken longer.

Now I am on the 48 watch to verify that the card works. Hogar Santa Catalina has also been outstanding. I was called the other night and told that Robert need his anti-convulsive medicine needed to be purchased. I called the secretary and asked if she could buy it with the emergency funds we keep on hand with her at the home. She said she would also told me not to worry about his rent as she knew I was working on the problem.

Thank goodness the eagle has landed. In 48 hours I will see if the eagle is live.

I’ve never been as disappointed as my dog Koki just was when she realized the food I dropped was a carrot.